How to Get a Good Job Recommendation Letter

If you are a job seeker wondering how to get a good job recommendation letter, there are many ways to accomplish this. As a job seeker, one of your best tools is your stack of recommendation letters. Having these can help you impress even the toughest of hiring managers, especially when you have limited job experience or have suffered a job loss. Here are some helpful ways to get a good job recommendation letter to use when applying for work.

Collect Letters of Recommendation from Colleagues

In every job that you hold, regardless of the length of employment, make it a point to ask at least two co-workers to write you a recommendation letter. Be sure to ask them to highlight your skills, your achievements, what kind of person you are to work with and any special qualities you brought to the team. Return the favor by writing recommendation letters for your colleagues as well. This is especially important when many jobs are short-lived, and this can be reflected on your resume.

Ask Supervisors to Write You Recommendation Letters

Each employer handles employee reviews differently, but as a rule of thumb you can expect a review at least once a year from your supervisor. Once you have gone over your review, ask your supervisor to provide you with a brief recommendation letter along with a copy of your employee review for your personal records. Most supervisors will be happy to oblige this request. Store a copy of this letter in your employment file with human resources, so that when future employers call for a reference this information is readily available.

Seek Recommendation Letters from Civic Leaders

Another excellent avenue for obtaining recommendation letters is asking a religious or civic leader to provide one for you. If you are involved in a church or have a social affiliation, take advantage of that and ask for a character reference in the form of a recommendation letter. You will impress any hiring manager if a pastor, priest, rabbi or other leader says good things about you. In addition, you will gain the support and encouragement of others which will help you with your morale.

Get Recommended by College Professors

If you are a college student or a recent graduate, why not contact a couple of your former college professors and ask for a career recommendation letter? Instructors understand that new graduates often have limited job experience, so they're very happy to provide recommendation letters that highlight your accomplishments, career goals and knowledge. A recommendation letter from a former professor always looks good when applying for jobs.

Draft a Recommendation Letter and Get a Manager to Sign

If all else fails, sometimes the easiest way to obtain a recommendation letter is to write it yourself. Make sure you write it from the third-person perspective and then present it to your manager or former manager and ask them to review and sign it. Managers are often so busy that they may not have time to write a recommendation letter for you, so this will save both you and your boss time. This will also establish a permanent record of your on-the-job abilities.